Left to right: Farrell, Perkins, Avery, Navarro
Ain't no wrong now, ain't no right
There's only pleasure and pain
— Jane's Addiction, "Ain't No Right".
Jane's Addiction are an extremely influential Alternative Rock
band, one of the first from that genre to gain a degree of commercial success and mainstream attention before Nirvana
and grunge broke through, and the creators of the Lollapalooza festival in the early 1990s.
The band was formed in 1985 by vocalist Perry Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro, bassist Eric Avery and drummer Stephen Perkins. They named themselves after Farrell's roommate Jane Bainter, who was addicted to drugs. They spent some time building up a following by playing various clubs in Los Angeles, attracting record company attention. They signed with Warner Bros. Records
, but released their first record, the live album Jane's Addiction
on an independent label in 1987.
The band went into the studio some time afterwards to record their first album, with Dave Jerden behind the mixing boards. The recording process was difficult, with Farrell quarreling with everybody else over wanting more royalties, and the album's cover depicting two naked statues of women on fire
got them attention from Moral Guardians
. Still, Nothing's Shocking
was released in 1988 to critical acclaim and commercial success, showcasing the band's fusion of numerous genres into a specific style
and Psychedelic Rock
influences), energetic performances and Farrell's unorthodox vocals. Heavy touring followed, solidifying their "rising star" status.
After the conclusion of tours, Jane's Addiction returned to the studio with Dave Jerden as producer once again. By this point, relations between band members had deteriorated so much that they recorded all their parts separately. Ritual de lo Habitual
was released in 1990 to even more critical acclaim and commercial success, showing a progress from Shocking
: more Epic Rocking
was included and more experimentation with genres showed up
besides the ever-present psych-funk-metal. The band even scored a hit single thanks to the catchy song about kleptomania
"Been Caught Stealing".
The ensuing tour was marred by intra-band conflict (including one on-stage fight between Farrell and Navarro during a show), and after it concluded the band broke up in 1991. Farrell took the time to start the alternative rock festival Lollapalooza in the same year, and JA played at the first festival shortly before breaking up.
The band members went on to various side projects - Farrell and Perkins to Porno for Pyros, Navarro joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers
for their derided album One Hot Minute
, and Avery formed Banyan - and periodic reunions, one of which resulted in an album of all-new material, Strays
. However, none of these reunions included Eric Avery and were generally short-lived. The band finally reunited for good with Avery in 2008, embarking on a tour with Nine Inch Nails
. Then Avery left and was replaced on tour with Duff Mc Kagan
, of Guns 'N Roses and Velvet Revolver fame. Then McKagan left before they could enter the studio. Dave Sitek of TV On The Radio plays bass on their upcoming album.
Tropes which apply to Jane's Addiction:
- Careful With That Axe
- Concept Album: side 2 of Ritual de lo Habitual
- Contemptible Cover: Nothing's Shocking shows flaming nude statues. Ritual de lo Habitual arguably does this as well, depicting Farrell, his girlfriend and another female friend (who had died of an overdose) embracing, with one's breasts and Farrell's penis visible.
- Cluster F-Bomb/Precision F-Strike: Farrell alternates between the two in their songs.
- Day In The Life: "Jane Says"
- Epic Rocking: "Ted, Just Admit It...", "Three Days", "Then She Did...", "Of Course"
- Fun with Acronyms: When they co-headlined a tour with Nine Inch Nails in 2009, it was of course called NINJA.
- Intercourse with You: "Irresistible Force" is about how the big bang was a sexual act, or, in other words, a big bang.
- In The Style Of - "Jane Says" is a chilled-out faux-Caribbean song, "Of Course" imitates Led Zeppelin's Mideastern phase, and so on.
- Lyrical Dissonance: The catchy funk-rock song about kleptomania, "Been Caught Stealing".
- Moral Guardians
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Mixing together Alternative Rock, Funk, Psychedelic Rock and goth rock. One critic referred to their style as "Led Zeppelin meets The Cure"
- Punny Name: Perry Farrell = "Peripheral".
- Refrain from Assuming: The title of "Jane Says" shows up only in some verses.
- "Ted, Just Admit It..." tends to get called "Nothing's Shocking" - it has a Non-Appearing Title, but repeatedly does an Album Title Drop of Nothing's Shocking. "Sex Is Violent" is another common guess, and confusingly enough the edited version on the Natural Born Killers soundtrack album is called "Sex Is Violent".
- Sampling / Spoken Word in Music - the Ted Bundy quote of "Ted, Just Admit It..."
- Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: "My sex and my drugs and my rock'n'roll are my fuckin' own business..."
- Subdued Section: "Then She Did...", any of their long songs actually, "Stop!"
- The Something Song: "Mountain Song"
- Word Salad Lyrics
- X Meets Y: Led Zeppelin meets Sly And The Family Stone meets The Doors meets The Cure meets Christian Death.